French Warships, 1626-1914

French Warships 1626-1786

Published 2017.

French Warships 1786-1861

Published 2015.

French Warships 1859-1914

Published 16 November 2021.

See below for post-publication Additions and Modifications to the three books.

The 1786-1861 book contains greatly expanded data on the ships covered below in this web site and it adds complete information for the period before 1816, giving full coverage of the period from just before the French Revolution to the advent of the broadside ironclad. Anyone with a serious interest in this period should use the book. The old data (which are still valid so far as they go) have been left on this web site for legacy reasons and to support those who have only the 1859-1914 volume, in which the data on the ships in the fleet on 1 January 1859 (fully covered in the 1785-1861 book) had to be reduced to a summary listing for space reasons. Beginning with the Gloire, the new book contains detailed design histories and technical data along with construction dates, key career events, and detailed disposal data for the nearly 1,350 ships that were added to the French Navy between 1859 and 1914 filling a total of some 500 pages. The 1626-1786 volume takes the story of French warships back to Richelieu in 1626.

All three volumes are available in book form at Seaforth and the 1786-1861 (shown in error in their catalog as 1786-1862) and 1859-1914 volumes are in stock at the co-publisher, the U.S. Naval Institute Press. They are also carried by Amazon and other booksellers in various countries.

Seaforth Publishing (Pen & Sword Books)

U.S. Naval Institute Press

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Additions and Modification to French Warships

This page contains Additions and Modifications for the three "French warships" books of which Stephen S. Roberts
is author or co-author. Readers are invited to suggest appropriate additional entries to this new email address:

French Warships in the Age of Sail, 1626-1786
  • No additions or modifications have yet been reported for this volume.

French Warships in the Age of Sail, 1786-1861
  • Page 418, transport Ressource.  This ship was previously the mercantile Brasiliero and was purchased on 14 June 1860. The 1859-1914 volume contains an updated entry for this ship.

French Warships in the Age of Steam, 1859-1914
  • Page 175, paddle aviso Estafette.  The builder of this ship was Bradley, Day & Co., not Jones, Quiggin & Co. as stated, and the builder of her 120nhp engines was John Jones & Sons, both of Liverpool. (The Jones in Jones, Quiggin was Josiah.) Her launching on 5 June 1867 and the ensuing luncheon were reported by the Liverpool Daily Post the next day along with many details of the ship. Initially named Tiger as stated, she was built for Anthony Marteos of Gibraltar to trade between there and the coast of Morocco, and one of the principal features in her design (by Henry Claughton) was that she could be steamed at a high speed with a light draught of water (7ft when fully loaded). Tiger ran successful trials in the Irish Sea on 31 July 1867. Despite high hopes the iron shipbuilding partnership of James Bradley and George Day lasted only from 1866 to 1869 and their only known products were Tiger (which became the French Estafette before the end of 1867) and a 100-ton paddle steamer named St. Nicholas completed during 1867 for a Russian customer. All stated references to Jones, Quiggin should be disregarded as there seems to have been no connection between Bradley, Day and them, and the ship's construction dates should be refined as indicated here. My thanks to Andreas von Mach for the additional information.

  • Page 376, destroyer Framée.  This ship was launched on 21 October 1899, not in June 1899 as printed, with her last sister Yatagan following on 20 March 1900, as printed. As of November 1899 they were to be ready in January and May 1900 but both were delayed.

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